- Speaking to reporters, the Iranian foreign minister said the results of the talks "depend on how the European Union can meet its obligations and commitments it has made since leaving the United States."
- France officially welcomed the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic, but the trip was met with strong opposition from some Iranian opposition forces.
- "History has proven that economic sanctions are breaking the back of the state and the nation, but there is a third way to come, as they did with South Africa, to advance human rights and to sanction and force these political officials."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron was constructive, but stressed the EU had to fulfill its own commitments. Meanwhile, hundreds within the Iranian opposition protested Thursday and Friday against the Islamic Republic’s human rights abuses and Zarif himself.
Zarif and Macron met on Friday afternoon, August 23, in the French capital, Paris. After the interview, he told reporters that his meeting with Macron had been productive and good. ISNA quoted him saying that the two countries have given each other suggestions on how to implement the plan and the steps it needs to take.
According to ISNA, the Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit to France was followed by phone calls between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Macron.
Speaking to reporters, the Iranian foreign minister said the results of today’s talks “depend on how the European Union can meet its obligations and commitments it has made since leaving the United States.”
The Iranian Foreign Minister met with the French President on the eve of the G7 summit. For this reason, Iranian and French officials also hope that the summit will be an opportunity to consult with President Donald Trump on the issue. Trump wrote earlier on Twitter that he thought Macron’s intentions were good, but he was sending “misleading messages to Iran.”
The content of Macron’s proposals to Iran has not yet been announced. He also referred to the Islamic Republic as the “most reliable” force for “securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz” on freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf. Zarif reiterated that “we will open the channel to negotiate with the JCPOA parties, but JCPOA’s commitment cannot be negotiated with us.”
France officially welcomed the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic, but the trip was met with strong opposition from some Iranian opposition forces in France. In a statement, the National Council of Iran for Free Elections has objected to the meeting.
Nazila Golestan, a member of the National Council of Iran, spoke about the protests and the rally of Iranians on a delicate trip to France. Golestan said that all secular and democratic forces have been allowed to rally at the Paris Human Rights Square, “a place where most human rights demonstrations are being held.”
On the spectrum of secular and democratic groups, he says, “these groups are different and even there are civil societies. This is not a very factional rally. Everyone, with any beliefs, participates in this gathering.”
Ms. Golestan said that both the West and Iran want to negotiate, both to the detriment of the Iranian people. “Our message to democratic countries is to come to dialogue with the Islamic Republic’s people and opposition groups.”
Golestan believes that the democratic countries with which Iran is negotiating should bring human rights issues to the table. Because “history has proven that economic sanctions are breaking the back of the state and the nation, but there is a third way to come, as they did with South Africa, to advance human rights and to sanction and force these political officials.”
The National Council of Iran group also issued a statement regarding Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to France, referring to an interview with a former Iranian foreign minister in which he said “we in Iran have somebody to believe. ”
The statement said, “Javad Zarif not only denies systematic violations of the rights of Iranian citizens and the tyrannical activities of Ali Khamenei’s government but also attempts to normalize them by distorting the Islamic Republic’s inhumane laws.”
“The Iranian regime has arrested thousands of protesters, civil and political activists, labor representatives, trade unions and other guilds in the last two years,” the statement said.
The National Council of Iran has referred the Iranian Foreign Minister to the “Foreign Minister of the Terrorist State” in the Islamic Republic.